Question: I’d like a sub sandwich. A grinder. A hoagie. Anything long and football-shaped stuffed with meat and cheese. Hot or cold is fine, but preferably hot. And melty. My fiance and I have been searching the city for a year and a half, but we haven’t been able to find a sub sandwich shop in Los Angeles that’s up to East Coast snuff. We’ve pretty much given ourselves over to the melts at Canter’s.
—Vivian, West L.A.
Answer: East Coast snuff? If you’ve been looking for a year and a half, I assume you’ve tried the Godmother sandwich at Bay Cities in Santa Monica, an overstuffed concoction that is generally considered the best local sandwich. (It is neither hot nor melty, although the meatball sandwiches there aren’t bad.) I like the roast beef grinders at Connal’s up in Pasadena, which are warm and vinegary and ultimately fulfilling, and the delicious pressed Autostrada sandwiches at Jaron Monday nights, which are Nancy Silverton’s upscale interpretation of the sandwiches you find at the Autogrills that service the autostradas in Italy – imagine craving the sandwiches at an AM/PM minimart! The roast-pork subs at Mario’s Italian Deli in Glendale have rarely been the source of complaints. But if you’re liberal in your conception of a hoagie, and you’re looking for a Los Angeles original, the garlicky, crisp, basturma sandwiches at Sahag’s Basturma are dynamite, pungent Armenian-style cured beef layered on French bread with pickles and onions, a sandwich that will ooze out of your pores long after you are finished with lunch. 5183 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, (323) 661-5311. Got a burning culinary question? Ask Mr. Gold at firstname.lastname@example.org.